Meet the laser that's about to become your skin's new BFF.
As soon as the PowerPoint slide entitled “Fractional Non-ablative Photothermolysis” came on, I knew I was in way over my head. I was at Tria’s headquarters in San Francisco for an exclusive first peek at the company’s new Skin Rejuvenating Laser (SRL), an at-home device that promises to bring anti aging technology (previously available only through dermatologists) to the comfort of my overcrowded bathroom counter. En route to the meeting, I was given a tour of a workroom that looked like the inside of a robot and passed a group of engineers’ desks covered with pliers, wrenches and circuit boards. This isn’t typically my kind of hangout spot, but I was desperate to get my hands on the SRL before its Canadian launch this month. (We’ve got the global exclusive; our American neighbours will have to wait until next year.)
It was clear that everyone at Tria was excited about it too. The first of its kind to be approved by Health Canada, the SRL was subjected to independent physician-led clinical studies here and in the United States, in which 100 percent of users experienced a significant improvement in texture and 75 percent experienced a similar improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration and redness. It’s so hot off the presses that, earlier, when various staffers saw the SRL in the hands of my tour guide, they gasped over the sleek final packaging. Even the engineers with me in the meeting kept passing the beeping device back and forth to one another and sweeping it across their faces during our conversation. It was a tad distracting but made me really want one.
The day started much less high-tech, over a relaxed breakfast at Le Méridien San Francisco with Kevin Appelbaum, CEO for Tria. The tall ex-military officer and former Sephora senior executive arrived with a backpack slung over his shoulder and quickly regaled me with entertaining tales of the various romances sprouting at the office. (He said that there are many love matches at Tria “because it’s so much fun [to work] there!”) Appelbaum’s easygoing attitude belied his all-pro approach to business and his belief in “liberating customers from products that don’t work.” He paused for a spoonful of his organic oatmeal and shrugged. “Women are frustrated. The industry over-promises and underdelivers. We want to compete on the basis of credibility.”
It’s in Tria’s DNA to launch products based on concepts or technologies that are both proven and already used by professionals. That’s why its previous releases (the bestselling Hair Removal Laser and Skin Perfecting Blue Light for acne) are centred on the use of light and lasers. In fact, many of the scientists at Tria are the same ones who created the professional light devices used by physicians.
A decade ago, lasers were one of the more hard-core anti aging options for those comfortable with blasting their faces off. Literally. Working with lasers back then meant stripping off the entire epidermis (the top layer of skin) and some of the dermis (the layer underneath). Results were hard to guarantee because healing was unpredictable.
More on the latest skin and anti aging technology from Tria on the next page ...